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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Through The Ages - Card: Hollywood

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.

Hollywood

History
Hollywood is a neighborhood in the state of California.  Prior to 1911 it was a farming community.  In 1903 it was incorporated into its own city, but due to issues over water rights, it had to annex to Los Angeles.

Drawn to a warm climate and plentiful area, a few entrepreneurial people decided to start a film studio in 1911.  The new industry exploded in popularity, and with it the area of Hollywood exploded in growth.  The area rapidly changed from a planned community to one of rapid growth.  The new industry demanded skills not found outside its area, so new studios opened up in the area, further compounding the need for more skilled labor.  Soon the neighborhood of Hollywood became synonymous with the film industry.

Today many studios remain in Hollywood, although just as many have moved away.  Still, to make it in the film industry within the Western World seems to require a presence in Hollywood.  Although countries outside the United States have a thriving film industry, and some, such as India is even larger than the United States, the film industry took its initial roots in a small area of California.
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Game Stats
On paper Hollywood doesn't look too bad.  In gamer's opinion, it is dead last.  It is the least preferred Wonder.  Appearing in only 21% of games, this Wonder is not popular in the least.

Hollywood does generate a decent amount of culture for a Wonder, but on average it fails to live up to its full potential. Hollywood is

Furthermore, when the following chart is reviewed, it becomes even more obvious Hollywood is used as a last ditch scoring mechanic by those without better options.  Specifically, if your building Hollywood and not another Wonder, your fighting for 2nd place.

Strategies, Combos and Opinions
All Age III wonders score based on the construction of other buildings, and they only provide culture bonuses.  Therefore, there are no "strategies" or "combinations" which work with these cards beyond the obvious: build their buildings.

Opinions
Hollywood fails in so many areas compared to the other three Age III wonders.  Firstly, the construction of libraries and Theaters are costly in terms of science and resources.  Most players have a few libraries and very few have theaters.  Unless a player were to actively pursue a Theatre-Library Strategy (the William Shakespeare route), Hollywood will provide only a marginal-at-best culture return.  This is exemplified in the chart directly above which shows Hollywood is at best a 2nd place card and not a winning card.

References
1 http://www.historicla.com/hollywood/history.html
2 http://www.hollywoodusa.co.uk/hollywood.htm
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